Countries are imposing new COVID-19 measures on travelers coming from China as international travel resumes.
Japan, IndiaMalaysia, Taiwan and the US have announced strengthened rules for travelers from China in response to rising cases.
Japan says it will require a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival for travelers from China, with those who test positive having to spend a week in quarantine. Tokyo also plans to restrict airlines that increase flights to China.
Malaysia put in place additional tracking and surveillance measures. of Philippines it is also considering setting up tests.
US government officials are also increasing controls, citing concerns about the “lack of transparent data” coming from Beijing. Starting Jan. 5, all air passengers two years of age and older will require a negative test result no more than two days before departure from China, Hong Kong or Macau.
In the EU, Ital has ordered COVID-19 antigen swabs and virus sequencing for all travelers arriving from China, the health minister said Wednesday.
The Belgian mayor has also called for the reintroduction of COVID checks on tourists entering from China, while France says it is unnecessary to add border checks. A EU-wide decision was expected on Thursday, however an agreement has yet to be reached.
Friday, Spain became the second European country to announce COVID restrictions on travelers from China, who will now have to provide a negative test result or proof of vaccination.
of ukHowever, there are no plans to reinstate COVID-19 testing for those arriving in the country, a government spokesman said Thursday. Australia is also not making any changes to its rules about allowing travelers from China into the country
Why are countries worried about travelers coming from China?
In recent weeks, China has rapidly eased its strictures COVID Rules amid the riots of the citizens. The sudden change in policy is said to have left its health system overwhelmed as the virus spreads largely unchecked.
China, a country of 1.4 billion people, reported three new deaths from COVID on Tuesday, one on Monday. However, these figures are inconsistent with what funeral parlors report, as well as with the experience of much less populated countries as they reopened.
“There are growing concerns in the international community going forward COVID-19 increases in China and the lack of transparent data, including viral genome sequence data, reported by the PRC [People’s Republic of China]”, US officials said on Tuesday.
In Italy, Milan’s main airport, Malpensa, had already started testing passengers arriving from Beijing and Shanghai on December 26, and the results showed that almost one in two passengers was infected.
What are the rules for people traveling to China?
China said Monday it will lift its quarantine requirements for incoming travelers starting Jan. 8. It will also restart the release visa for residents to travel abroad.
This is a major step towards easing restrictions on its borders, which have been largely closed since 2020. Rules have been gradually eased in recent weeks to facilitate domestic and international travel.
Hong Kong also said on Wednesday it would remove most of its backlog Restrictions for COVID.
Online searches for flights out of China rose on Tuesday from record lows, but residents and travel agencies suggested that a return to anything like normal would take several months, as caution prevails for now.